Breaking Waves: Ocean News

Grass, fungus combination affects ecology
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Fescue grass covers an area equivalent to 12 million football fields in the US, and a new study by ecologists shows that the grass and a symbiotic fungus can affect local ecosystems in significant ways. Study results show that the genetic identity of an invisible fungus living symbiotically in fescue can alter the surrounding composition and diversity of the plant community.
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Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought, says a new analysis of the plant family tree. Previous studies suggest that flowering plants, or angiosperms, first arose 140 to 190 million years ago. Now, a new article pushes back the age of angiosperms to 215 million years ago, some 25 to 75 million years earlier than either the fossil record or previous molecular studies suggest.
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Southern Ocean winds open window to the deep sea
03/14/2010 - 23:00
Scientists have discovered how changes in winds blowing on the Southern Ocean drive variations in the depth of the surface layer of sea water responsible for regulating exchanges of heat and carbon dioxide between the ocean and the atmosphere.
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People will forgo luxury for green products when status is on mind, researcher finds
03/14/2010 - 23:00
A new study finds that people will forgo luxury and comfort for a green item.
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Earthquake observatory in Northern Chile to monitor the last seismic gap
03/14/2010 - 23:00
The high-magnitude earthquake of Feb. 27, 2010 in southern Central Chile closed one of the two remaining seismic gaps at the South American plate boundary. After the quake of Concepción, the remaining gap in the north of Chile now holds potential for a comparable strong quake and is, thus, moving more and more into the focus of attention.
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Phylogenetic analysis of Mexican cave scorpions suggests adaptation to caves is reversible
03/12/2010 - 00:00
A new study of the scorpion family Typhlochactidae, a group of nine dark-adapted species endemic to Mexico, shows that specialized traits are not necessarily an evolutionary dead end. At least three reversals, or a return to generalized morphology, were found in a phylogenetic analysis.
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Scarcity of phosphorus threat to global food production
03/11/2010 - 00:00
Phosphorus is just as important to agriculture as water. But a lack of availability and accessibility of phosphorus is an emerging problem that threatens our capacity to feed the global population. Like nitrogen and potassium, it is a nutrient that plants take up from the soil and it is crucial to soil fertility and crop growth.
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